Day 6: Retreating Dr. Mama

18 Aug

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I am writing this at 7:45 pm.  Lots of details I want to recount before I get to tired to remember them.  Started out the day with coffee and a manuscript, thne moved to coffee and the hot tub, then  back to the manuscript.  I made some headway in that second piece and plan/hope to get more done tonight, and to largely wrap it up tomorrow.  A lovely soft rain early in the day and then a lovely hard rain this evening.  Nearly unbearable in the sunroom where there is little between the metal roof and the ceiling (and today no sun).  But I drank deeply of the image of that water pouring down before the vista of trees on the mountainside.  Scrumptious. Nothing like sitting on the porch with coffee (well ever, really, but especially) during a hard rain like that.

I left my beloved Fiona, who I think was temporarily heartbroken, while I went into town.  I had to take my trash with me as there is no trash pickup here and it was time already.  I couldn’t find the dumpsters down by the country store where the cabin owner said they’d be, so I headed on into town.  I had a map the owner drew for me but didn’t really have a sense of the distance; his “about 15 minutes” didn’t prove to be true.  Not for this ‘city’ driver anyway.  I kept laughing at my comparatively slow driving and whispering apologies to the other drivers and references to myself as a ‘city slicker.’ The misnomer of the reference shouldn’t go unnoticed given my Johnson City, Tennessee home.   As I curved curved curved round those roads I saw ahead two ears coming up from the embankment on my right, then the doe to whom they belonged.  Please don’t dart in front of my car,” I begged, and slowed the car (even more).  I looked in the rearview and decided to stop for her, at which point a fawn followed her up the embankment to the roadside and then, a second later, a second fawn.  Beautiful and spotted they were and she seemed quite young herself.  So there the three of them stood just a few feet from my car.  They walked a few steps then ran across the road and up the steep hillside on the left.  What a gift that was!  My eyes filled with tears at the majesty of it all.  On I drove into town, hoping for a Kroger.  No such luck.  Just a “SavMor Foods,” alas, which, you may be shocked to hear, does not carry orange extract.  Or kalamata olives.  But it DOES carry, I am completely thrilled to report, pencil sharpeners.  I inadvertently left mine at home and have been faking my way through authorship with dull pencils, which might well have  signaled the downfall of western civilization, not to mention virtually unpublishable material, had I not procured the one I bought today.  There isn’t a lot I find more useless and resistable than dull pencils.  Men “with potential” maybe, but that’s about it.  They also had a couple of very ripe bananas, something I may love as much as sharp pencils and something that is rare—either too green or too ripe for my finicky banana preferences, there’s  only like a day and a half where a bunch of bananas is right for me, and before or after that I won’t have anything to do with them.  So peanut butter and banana for me, and peanut butter for Fiona.  She’s since forgiven my stepping out on her.   Maybe just a salad for dinner tonight.

On my way home I stopped at that country store to ask whereto put the trash; I’d just missed it, the clerk said, but it was only about 500…something…feet or yards…I can’t remember.  “I could hit a golf ball to it, it’s that close,” he said, when my shoulders dropped at the thought of backtracking.  When I first walked into the store to inquire, the clerk was talking to a customer’s little girl, maybe about 7 and I came in on this conversation:

Him:  What was Beauty, from Beauty and the Beast’s name?

Her:  Belle.

Him:  And what was…her…DAD’S name?

Her:  (annoyed at the pointless question) I don’t know!

Him:  Uh huh!  Beauty and the Beast is MY movie.  It’s MY movie.  (Poking his own chest now)  Ask me anything in the world about that movie and I’ll know the answer!

The store phone rings and he goes to answer it, and exchanges a sentence or two with the caller and then puts the phone to his body to muffle the end of his exchange with the girl who has since left the store:  “It’s  MauRICE!” he shouts out the door, and sticks his tongue out at her.  I think, Right! Maurice.  Had me on that one.  It was a peculiar moment, to be sure, but so light and simple.  I find out about where the dumpsters are and their relationship to golf—and I just want to say I’m not convinced this guy could hit a golf ball to it, not because he wasn’t strong enough, he was certainly a burly  mountain guy (not the kind you’d think would be a Beauty and the Beast expert, but we all have our proclivities) but because he was in fact a burly mountain guy (not the kind you’d imagine spends much time on the golf course).  But there he was, choosing a golf example, so who knows.

I head to the dumpsters and pull into the fenced area. “Hi, I have a bag of garbage here, where does it go?” I say to the older man sitting there in a chair.  “He’s the boss,” the man says about the other  man, sitting next to him, who looks remarkably like him.  The second guy gets up and says “What kind?”  Um…” this is a trick question, I figure; they probably know I’m a city slicker and are trying to stump me since I’m not from round these parts.  He helps me out:  “Just trash?”  “Uh…yyyyyeah….” I say, not convinced we’ve actually uncovered any new information.  “Pull right up there.”  So I pull up “there” (no idea where he’s talking about) and he comes up and gets the rash and heaves it into one of the dumpsters and I head home.

No walks today, alas, to Fiona’s dismay, what with the rain.  But my son is coming up tomorrow afternoon to spend the weekend and my daughter on Saturday so I’ll be switching gears shortly.  And I don’t mind at all.  I’ve GREATLY enjoyed the quiet time alone and am ready for human companionship. Plus, it’s just so pretty here and I’d like to share it with someone.  This requires, alas, a nauseatingly winding trip down the mountain to get him, followed by what will be a more nauseatingly winding trip back up it.  But I’ve got my antiemetic at the ready so maybe I’ll be fine.

I’ll work for an hour or two and then try to read more than a page or two in my new book Maine.  Then up to savor my last morning alone.

Thanks for reading!


Posted by on August 18, 2011 in Families, Feminism, Motherhood, Parenting


2 responses to “Day 6: Retreating Dr. Mama

  1. r4dic4lf3mm3

    August 19, 2011 at 1:15 am

    I have enjoyed reading your blog about your solitary vacation/writing time in the country, and am a bit jealous. I just flew from Tri Cities Airport to St. Petersberg with my mom, and three daughters, and am about to scream…well actually I have screamed a bit. It’s the first time that I have flown and I have learned some really valuable lessons: 1. Always drug the little kids…it makes them much more quiet and easier to deal with (j/k…kinda) 2. Pack light (I thought one carry on bag, a large purse, and tote bag was packing light…but when carrying a 35 pound whining, squirming two year old I think I would have been fine for the whole week with a small backpack). 3. Separate the older kids (no matter how content they seem on the plane, there will be no end to the tattling and bickering about who used too much of the arm rest and who got the window seat once we get off the plane) 4. A screaming toddler gets you out of security checks quicker ( No one want to hear that shit. Jade had a full on melt down at the security check point. She was laying on the ground kicking and screaming while I was trying to take my freakin’ shoes off.) Anyway, I’m happy to be here in Florida with my girls. I am in desperate need of some relaxing by the beach time, and am super excited to see Jade’s reaction to seeing the ocean for the first time. All in all our first plane ride went well once we actually got onto the plane. It was a little scary though. We hit a lot of turbulence because of storms in the area, but that just made for a more exciting flight.

    • Dr. Mama

      August 19, 2011 at 10:53 am

      my worst flight ever was when chelsea was a toddler and i was by myself with here. but i didn’t have two older children bickering so you’re a greater woman than i. i was a complete wreck by the time i got to atlanta (from indiana) to see my parents. a total, total nightmare. i envy you the opp to see the youngest behold the beach. such a lovely thing. the other girls will enjoy it immensely too, i’ll wager. hope you have some fun kelly. hope you have many moments enjoying the coast. i hate the image of ya’ll at the security checkpoint and jade coming unglued. i find it terribly stressful when i am BY MYSELF. i can’t imagine 3 kids in tow, one of whom has gone completely mad. thinking of you.


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